I was probably one of the last people in the world to learn about the attack on September 11, 2001.
I was deep into revising my dissertation on Walker Percy for a committee member who ultimately had to be replaced; like many faculty members he insisted I present the dominant view of the U.S. as fascist. Three other committee members thought my original version was suitable for a book. But today’s graduate student will have even less of an opportunity to work with decent faculty members than I did. The sociopaths in charge have simply replaced such retiring members with their own kind.
It was 9/11 that finally convinced me that those who rule the academy are sociopaths.
When around 2:00 p.m. I finally pulled away from revising and checked my email, I learned that the University of Georgia had sent everybody home at noon. When I called the campus for a scheduled appointment I was told that we had been attacked.
War, I thought. Pearl Harbor.
But no such thing to my colleagues who immediately flooded the discussion listserv with political analyses about U.S. imperialism and calls for support of some Afghan women’s revolutionary group. A graduate student whose relatives were hurt at the Pentagon pleaded with the radicals to hold off on the political analyses. The predictable missives about the First Amendment flew forth as well as insults directed at the poor woman. A colleague told me about spending an entire class period explaining to freshmen that the Crusades were the reason they “hate us.” Bright yellow announcements of forums on “Understanding Islam” popped up on campus, as they did all over the country.
As Americans jumped to their deaths from burning skyscrapers, the academics, like Ward Churchill, in their ivory towers, began penning analyses of “chickens coming home to roost.”
Others were a little more subtle and presented the event as “spectacle,” as a kind of aesthetic display of the downfall of Western imperialism. The Twin Towers were huge phallic symbols, displays of “masculinist” arrogance.
The privileged professors continue to present the event this way as I learned at the last conference of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, where “Critical Plenary Speaker” Professor Anne McClintock called the U.S. a “paranoid empire.” To McClintock [PDF], writing from the safety of her own ivory tower in Madison, Wisconsin, “the 9/11 attacks came as a dazzling solution, both to the enemy deficit and the problem of legitimacy. . . .”
Now thanks to a generation groomed to hate America we have voted in an America-hating president. Nine years later, on land where body parts of victims are still being found, we’ve got an imam wanting to build a super mosque funded by terrorist-linked groups. The president supports him.
The free-speech advocates are nowhere to be found to defend a minister who wants to burn Korans in protest.
The yellow posters dotting Park Hall were symbols of what was to come.
We continue to teach about the Holocaust, but fail to mention the large percentage of educated “intellectuals” who ran the show.
So I was intrigued last weekend during the Decatur book festival (where booths for communists and peace-loving Muslims had multiplied) by an author of a book on that topic. He named names, crimes, and academic degrees. But he linked this development to the persecution of “liberals.”
I asked the author if he knew anything about the intellectuals’ reactions to 9/11. He did not. I don’t think it’s a stretch of an analogy to link those in white coats who did practice runs for gassing Jews on handicapped children with the sociopaths who think of Americans leaping to their deaths as an “aesthetic” experience or of fear as being “paranoid.”
The psychological literature shows a link between overindulged children with narcissism and sociopathy later in life. The tenured radicals are aging children whose privilege insulates them from the struggles and realities of everyday life. These are people who do not have to run into burning and exploding buildings.
The reaction to 9/11 could have been predicted. The pampered professors have been acting this way for decades.
They “organize” communities they have no stake in. They call police “pigs” because they don’t need them to stop the drug pushers, thieves, and rapists around them. They inspire riots because they don’t have to live in the ruined neighborhoods. They can favor affirmative action because they’re the ones doing the hiring. They never have to live with the consequences of their own “solutions.”
These are the people who populate the Obama administration.
Can anybody else see a historical parallel?